Season three is complete. Finally, after obtaining a copy, I am able to brave social media without the fear that a hilarious comment or meme is going to be a total spoiler alert and ruin the entire show for me. (On a side note, how long is acceptable for spoilers with pop culture? I threw that into google and one comment said 1-3 months. That seems ridiculous. It often takes me more than three months to know that something even exists) At any rate, I’m not going to spoil anything here.
What I will say is that I think both season two and season three follow smoothly from the first. I’ve not attempted the books (apart from the first), but have heard that the television series has some deviation from the specific detail of the book, but the general overallness is pretty close. Each storyline continues to take logical progressions. There are characters who we want to step up and who absolutely do, and suddenly, often unexpectedly, characters die. Or, more accurately, are killed.
For me, I think it is worth it. I’d like it if there was some way to have it structured with less slow slow slow slow and then sudden fast and exciting, then back to the slow slow slow slow. But, I suppose context is important, and it can’t only be sex and death. I reluctantly suppose.
Previous Game of Thrones post here
Nochy Thompson (Steve Buschemi) rules the Boardwalk – the famous pier and amusement area of New Jersey. He’s the most powerful man through a lifetime of corruption which only expands with the introduction of the prohibition of alcohol. Boats make illegal deliveries, his crew distribute and collect. This, in combination with a variety of bribes and political dealings, has made Nochy the most powerful man in the region. Boardwalk Empire sees the return of his prodigy, Jimmy, who was fighting in the Great War, as well as the introduction of Margaret Schroeder, an Irish woman who catches Nochy’s attention and the attempt of various people to overthrow Nochy’s reign.
I find the prohibition a fascinating time to look at; a massive social experiment that went wrong. The Ken Burns documentary gave some extremely interesting insights into the reasons the prohibition was introduced in 1920 and what happened before it was repealed in 1933. Lawless gave a depiction of the life of the bootlegger. Boardwalk Empire looks across the board at the illegal activities of the time; bootlegging, illegal imports, prostitution, political bribery and all sorts.
As with so many of the HBO series, this is an extremely well crafted and put together show. The characters are utterly compelling, often inspiring empathy despite some of the awful actions they take. Steve Buschemi is perfect for Nochy – a ruthless controller with a hidden but genuine weakness. The second season ends with quite a cliffhanger, and I am hanging out for the third season now. Why can’t this show be fastracked?
Boardwalk Empire won Golden Globes in 2011 for Best Television Series, Drama and Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama and has been nominated for a variety of other awards.
Most series made by HBO are pretty fabulous. This one is okay. It has all the elements that should make it amazing – good characters, decent plot, interesting setting. Yet it doesn’t quite get there. I do wonder how much of this is from my prior knowledge of this world which, I’ll be totally honest about it, comes from Asterix comics.
The first series starts when Julius Caesar has conquered Gaul (All? All! Yup, Asterix gag for the fans) and returns, triumphant, to Rome. The senate see him as a tyrannical dictator who threatens the republic, leading to a variety of threats, challenges, fleeing and battling. The season ends with Caesar’s murder (is this really a spoiler? Surely Shakespeare gave it away a long time ago), and the second season takes up from the confusion left in the wake of Caesar’s death.
The one thing I found really difficult with this show was the passing of time; sometimes I had no idea that time had passed at all, yet it was four or five months later. Plus, the time would skip when following one strand of the action, giving no idea of what had happened in the various other areas. A bit annoying.
It is a good fun show with lots of awesome gory violence, amusing nudity and treachery all around. Not good enough for a third season, but two good seasons worth a watch.